HOUSE AND SENATE REACH TAX DEAL: "The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year," the New York Times reports. There's a word missing from that lead: "a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and CERTAIN individuals." The bill slashes taxes on the wealthy, does away with the inheritance tax, raises taxes on the poor and working class, and will add $1.5 trillion to the federal debt. It screws over blue states voters, young people, grad students, people who rely on Medicaid, people don't have health insurance and people who do have health insurance. Vox explains it all for you here. Read it and weep.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Zombie-eyed granny starver may step down as Speaker after his obscene tax bill passes — the passage of which will force Republicans in Congress to slash
entitlements earned benefits. That was the plan all along but Republicans, now anticipating a blue wave election, are moving on slashing those earned benefits sooner than anyone expected and they would've liked. "House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both federal health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America's deficit," the Washington Post reported earlier this month. "'We're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,' Ryan said." Republicans are arsonists. (The great Charles Pierce long ago dubbed Paul Ryan a zombie-eyed grannie starver.)
GRIFTY-EYED KIDDY DIDDLER WON'T CONCEDE: "Abortion, sodomy and materialism have taken the place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," says Roy Moore, and that's why he won't concede his loss to Doug Jones. Or something. Moore goes on to say that there isn't not "a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans and Democrats." Jill Stein/Roy Moore 2020!
BANNON'S TIME IN THE BARREL: Republicans who loathe Steven Bannon pile on in wake of Moore's un-conceded defeat.
WAKE ME IF THEY FIND ONE: Evangelical Christians engage in a little "soul searching" in the wake of Moore's loss. "When it comes to either matters of life and death or personal commitments of the human heart, no one will believe a word we say, perhaps for a generation," Mark Galli writes at Christianity Today, "Christianity’s integrity is severely tarnished." First the Crusades, now this. Why can't Christians catch a break?
ICYMI: The spokesmoron for the Moore campaign who defended Moore's position on Muslims holding office — they can't because elected officials have to swear on the bible — got a civics lesson from Jake Tapper Tuesday night...
Placing my hand on a dog-eared copy The Joy of Gay Sex at my swearing in ceremony is about the only reason I'd ever run for office.
MOORE: WILL REPUBLICANS LEARN THEIR LESSON? Nope, says Reihan Salam at Slate: "Do Republicans have a death wish? Looking back at the last decade, during which the party has forsaken opportunity after opportunity to address the needs of lower- and middle-class voters, the only logical answer is: It sure looks that way. When Paul Ryan declares that we really need to start cutting Medicare and Medicaid just days after the Senate passes a massive tax cut for high-income households, is he really telling us that he’s ready to retire to Kenosha? I wouldn’t rule it out."
WILL DEMOCRATS LEARN THEIRS? "There’s always been something problematic about the Democratic Party’s fixation on white working-class voters," Sally Kohn writes at The Daily Beast. "After Alabama, it’s clear that obsession isn’t just fraught with bias. It’s also dumb. Exit polls showed that black voters were decisive in electing Democrat Doug Jones to the United States Senate.... There’s always been a strong whiff of racial bias or even white supremacy in what seems to be an implicit belief on the part of the Democratic establishment that the only way to win elections—or perhaps the only 'legitimate' way—is with the support of white voters, especially working-class white men. Of course that’s not the only way. Simple math suggests otherwise, and the elections of Barack Obama and Doug Jones and many others prove it."
FCC TO VOTE TODAY ON ENDING NET NEUTRALITY: "The FCC is holding its monthly meeting today with one extremely controversial item on the docket: its plan to end net neutrality," Jacob Kastrenakes reports at The Verge. "The proposal will remove the Title II classification of internet providers, pulling out the legal grounding used to enforce rules like no blocking, no throttling, and no paid fast lanes. In its place, the commission puts... well, nothing." There will be court challenges, says Wired, but they aren't slam-dunks. You can watch the FCC vote to blow up the Internet live at the FCC's website.
ITMFA: "Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House," the Washington Post reports in today's must-read deep dive into all things collusion. "The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president — and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality — have impaired the government’s response to a national security threat. The repercussions radiate across the government."
The funny thing is that Omarosa was possibly more qualified for a White House appointment than Jared Kushner.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 14, 2017
OH GO FUCK YOURSELF: Former reality-TV star turned former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault went on Good Morning America this morning because "she has a story to tell" and she wanted to "set the record straight," aka attempt to rebrand herself as a woke-ass warrior for racial justice. "[As] the only African-American woman in this White House; as a senior staff and assistant to the president, I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and my people," Manigault told the last guy on TV who hasn't been accused of sexual harassment. So it took Omarosa a year to see what the rest of us saw the day Trump declared her was running for president: Donald Trump is a racist piece of shit.
SUPERVISE ME: Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock outs himself as an accused rapist, a sexual harasser, and a serial adulterer. "In a lengthy statement posted on Twitter, the Super Size Me director revealed that he was once accused of rape and had settled a sexual harassment claim made by a female employee," The Guardian reports. "'As I sit around watching hero after hero, man after man, fall at the realisation of their past indiscretions, I don’t sit by and wonder ‘who will be next?’ I wonder, ‘when will they come for me?' Spurlock wrote." Will men, er, coming for themselves be the next phase of the #MeToo movement?
SEATTLE TAKES ON GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK: "In response to The Stranger's reporting," Eli Sanders reports this morning, "the City of Seattle sent letters to Facebook and Google this week telling the tech giants they are definitely 'commercial advertisers,' as defined by city ordinance, and are therefore legally required to disclose detailed information on all political advertising they've sold in recent Seattle elections." Facebook and Google took in nearly 500K in political advertising during our recent local elections and both companies are currently in violation of our local election laws. But Eli is on 'em: READ.
BALLERS: "Seahawks rookie Malik McDowell was arrested over the weekend in Atlanta for disorderly conduct after getting into a dispute at a club over a $600 bill," the Seattle Times reports. "Among other things, McDowell, calls an arresting officer names and brags about the money he has made. He was booked for disorderly conducted and released on $325 bond." There's a video of the arrest and TMZ Sports has it.
ANTI-SEMITIC VANDALS HIT BALLARD: "A large menorah at Bergen Place Park in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood was vandalized on Wednesday night," King5 reports. "'It’s extremely disturbing, and this kind of hateful act has no place in the community,' said Rabbi Yoni Levitin. Tonight is the third night of Hanukkah. Chabad of Northwest Seattle plans to rebuild and relight the menorah today.
*Maybe* it's just a coincidence, but since Democrats pushed Franken out ... Moore was rejected by voters, Franks resigned, and Farenthold announced intention to retire. So the "unilateral disarmament" argument isn't looking so hot.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 14, 2017